Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bloody Nipples

Ahh! You know you had a good weekend when your nipples are raw and painful. Oops! This is a rated-G blog, so I better explain fast. My nipples were rubbed raw from my wet shirt while running in the rain. In comparison to how I felt Friday evening, this was a pain that I gladly welcomed...

After another week of 12 hour days and no running, my body and mind were wrecked, and a nasty head cold and feverishness had it's grip on me. I was scheduled to climb with Dave (a new partner) at our Gunks Fall Classic on Saturday, but couldn't see how I would pull it off. I crawled into bed at 8:30 with the blankets piled high in an attempt to burn it off with a good nights sleep. My strategy worked a little although I didn't get much sleep. Hoping a day in the sun would do me good, and not wanting to diappoint Dave, I did my best to pull myself together. I met Dave for our carpool to the Gunks and only half listened as he explained all the nuances of his Prius Hybrid during the 2 hour drive. My head was so clogged I could hardly hear, and I desperately wanted to sleep.

When we arrived in the Gunks parking lot, I realized that I had left my sandwich at home, so had no lunch. Argh! Not a great start! Dave offered me a Clif bar and I found another bar in my bag. OK, back in the game.

I was anxious to see how I would climb in such a weak, light-headed state (kids - don't try this at home). I also hadn't climbed in the Gunks in a couple months and wanted to see how the rock felt in comparison to Colorado and the DAKS. After leading an easy favorite, I decided to try something crimpy. I bouldered my way up Three Vultures and felt really solid every step of the way. I was still feeling crappy as the sun decided to hide as much as it showed itself and I kept going from cold to colder to freezing, but I was climbing well!

We did a few more classic Gunks lines and saw friends here and there. We ran into Lisa and her boyfriend Nate. Lisa is a big-time ultramarathoner and ran VT100 last year as well. This year she ran the Leadville 100, and may be doing Hardrock next year (wishing her a good lottery draw). It was a good Gunks day all around, but I was still dragging and wanted to crawl into bed. At the Gilded Otter, we waited for a table for a crazy amount of time. Dawn showed up for a beer and to chat with friends. She had pitty on my decrepid state, and offered to drive me home. I jumped at the chance to get out of there. Food or no food, I justed wanted to get home and crawl into bed. I was aching all over and it wasn't from the climbing. Dawn and I caught up on things while she drove. She talked and I listened, but mostly I slept. I tried to stay awake, but my eyes and body would not tolerate it.

After thanking Dawn several times for getting me home, I crawled into bed and hoped one more night sleep would do the trick.

I was supposed to run with Dawn at the Gunks on Sunday morning after our big campout Saturday night. Unfortunately, the rain put an end to that idea. Nevertheless, Dawn was committed to running 10 miles on Sunday and I heard her trying to coax the Goat into running with her at the West Hartford reservoir Sunday morning. I guess she figured I wouldn't make it given my current condition.

I awoke to the rain on the roof and decided to go back to sleep. I felt a lot better though, and thought about meeting Dawn for the run. I figured the Goat might bail on the run given the weather and I didn't want Dawn to run alone. She was gracious enough to get me home last night, so it was the least I could do. Besides, a run always help clear my congestion, so I thought it would do me some good.

As it turned out, the Goat did not bail on the run, so the 3 of us ran together for the first time in a very long time. I was dragging, but was happy to be out there. The conversation was light and the running was easy. I was still aching and kept blowing nasty snots out of my nose (ewww!). We took a wrong turn at one point and ended up on a new trail. It was a nice diversion.
After awhile I started feeling better and pushed the pace a little here and there.

At the end of the run, it was suggested that I should go home and take a nap. I couldn't have agreed more, and did just that after a nice hot shower. And it was in that shower that I realized my nipples were in extreme pain due to being rubbed raw by my running shirt. Owwwwwwwwww!!!!!!! Can you feel my pain???

After a day of catching up on little things and with little people (my grand daughter, Maliyah), I sit here satisfied with another great weekend. My nose is still a bit stuffy, but I feel tons better than I did on Friday night. The cool thing is that I didn't have to stay in bed all weekend to kick this cold. I climbed and ran and did everything I wanted to do, and feel better for it.

Post Script:

Goat asked Dawn and I about our upcoming goals. Dawn is running Boston in the spring, so she has a clear goal. Kevin is searching for a goal and we talked about him possibly doing a 100 miler. I have no thoughts of any goal beyond work/life balance right now.

Dawn mentioned that she would be happy to lead a 5.11 climb....she implied that it would be the ultimate and satisfy her infinitely (I can't remember the exact terms/phrasing). I chuckled to myself as I asked, "Really?" She knew the answer was "no". A short time after leading that climb, there would be another goal. Aren't we all that way? I mean, "How long can you be satisfied with a past accomplishment without starting something new?" I don't want to be like the high school quarterback reliving "Glory Days". How long can you talk about the 2008 VT100 without wondering, "What's next?"

But then I wonder...will I ever be satisfied? Do I always need a goal? Can I have a normal goal like weeding the garden or renovating the bathroom...something that doesn't require superhuman endurance or scaring the crap out of myself? What do I have to prove? Why do we need goals? Maybe my goal should just be to chill out, laugh, and spend time with family and friends.

I don't have all the answers, but I gotta believe we can have it all. We can shoot for the stars, and be satisfied with whatever comes our way. It's just a matter of playing our cards right, and keeping our priorities in order. If you have a better answer, let me know. In the meantime, I'm outta here. Gotta go do some dreaming...I hear Badwater runs an interesting race :-)

Have an awesome week!


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